Kathmandu: Violence erupted on the
streets of Kathmandu and Biratangar, the industrial town of
eastern Nepal, today following arrest of ruling CPN-UML`s
youth wing chief, who is accused of assaulting a journalist.
Mahesh Basnet, the president of CPN-UML`s youth wing
`Youth Force`, was arrested today for his alleged involvement
in assaulting a Biratnagar-based journalist on June 5.
Angry youths and students belonging to the CPN-UML
clashed with police and vandalised 6 vehicles and enforced
shut down in Biratnagar, where the local administration had to
impose prohibitory orders banning demonstrations and protests
In Kathmandu, the agitating students clashed with the
police in which a government vehicle was vandalised.
The youth and student wings affiliated to the CPN-UML
also warned to organise countrywide general strike tomorrow if
Basnet was not released by today evening.
The police have already arrested two people in
connection with beating up Khilanath Dhakal, a reporter with
the Nagarik daily.
However, they were reportedly carrying orders from
Basnet, the president of the Youth Force, who is said to have
links with top brass leaders of ruling CPN-UML.
The issue has become a tug of war between two ruling
alliances UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML.
In fact, the UML had formed the Youth Force to counter
the Maoists` paramilitary organisation called Young Communist
League. Now with the latest developments, the Maoists have got
an opportunity to blame upon the UML for all the wrong doings.
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Krishna
Bahadur Mahara and Information and Communication Minister Agni
Sapkota have been publicly voicing to book the youth cadres
belonging to the UML who were involved in attacking
journalists, who have been launching protests for the past one
week demanding arrest of the culprits.
Mahara, a also top Maoist leader, has submitted a
proposal in the cabinet seeking to withdraw criminal cases
against some 300 Maoists cadres and leaders, which have been
drawing strong criticism from the human rights groups.
The cabinet has not yet endorsed the proposal.
On the other hand, human rights activists are asking
Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal to sack Information and
Communication Minister Sapkota, against whom a murder case has
been registered by the police in a crime he had allegedly
committed during the insurgency.
Against this backdrop, the youths and student leaders
of the CPN-UML have challenged the Maoists for taking any
action against them saying that they should first trial their